Hemolytic anemia and gastric carcinoid in a russian seafarer: Highlighting the role of diagnostic technologies in modern clinical practice

Tafadzwa L. Chaunzwa*, Jesse O’shea, Nathan A. Boggs, Jeremy I. Schwartz, Joanna Gibson, Katherine A. Gielissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Vitamin B-12 deficiency, most commonly due to pernicious anemia, can cause intramedullary hemolysis. The pathogenesis is thought to be due to increased membrane rigidity and reduced red blood cell elasticity, which predisposes the patient to hemolysis and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia. In this article, we discuss a Russian engineer who worked aboard a petroleum tanker that presented from his ship with profound B-12 deficiency, microangiopathic anemia, elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels, low haptoglobin, and reticulocyte count in the setting of normal renal and neurologic function. The patient traveled around the world seven months of the year for work and had occupational exposure to fluorinated hydrocarbons. Extensive diagnostic work-up, including endoscopic biopsy, and a radio-labeled octreotide scan was performed. The patient was found to have autoimmune gastritis and a gastric carcinoid tumor. With assistance from his global health insurance provider and a local hospital near his hometown in Russia, care was coordinated to be transitioned there with a plan for repeat endoscopy and mapping biopsies to determine the extent of his tumor burden. This study adds to the now growing base of literature describing this atypical presentation of pernicious anemia with normal neurologic function and underscores the importance of screening for B-12 deficiency in these patients. It also highlights the increased risk of gastric carcinoids in patients with autoimmune gastritis. With the collaboration of different medical specialists, the full gamut of medical technology was utilized in the care of the patient. This included in vitro diagnostics, advanced endoscopic tools, pathology, and radio-isotope based imaging studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-246
Number of pages4
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anemia
  • Carcinoid
  • Hemolysis


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